4.2 Religions

Religion comes from the Latin ‘Religio’ and means belonging. Religious activities offer the possibility for you to feel connected with fellow human beings. If religious activities lead to self-acceptance, if they can wash away your guilt, if they can offer support from a powerful belief and if they help to pacify the chaos in your head, religion is a powerful source to restore the disturbed balance of neurotransmitters (that’s why we arrange religions under biological activities!). Presumably this effect is present and effective for all religions, but it is certainly true for those religions that emphasize a broad philosophical acceptance of all living creatures. Undoubtedly many religious meetings produce a calming effect like meditation does, so another MAO-A producer. Sometimes, however, a religion can be used to repress people. Marx therefore called religions ‘ opium of the people ‘. But when used in a good way it can release serotonin and dopamine.
Rituals within religions play an important role; rituals provide a handhold for people at important moments in their lives: being born, marriage and death. Pay attention to the massive meetings of Lourdes and Mecca, Yom Kippur, Christmas and Muharram. What is the attraction? “Religio”, you feel connected; not only at birth, not only in marriage and not only in the event of death. Now we hope that religions also feel connected to each other. We have an old remembering, that gives us that “religio”: that means that old connection with the lost truth.

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